The Dallas Mavericks are once again over .500, bouncing back to win two in a row, a 122–117 win against the San Antonio Spurs on the latest Friday.
It was an interesting game where the Mavericks looked like a world beater for 40 minutes, a lottery team for about seven and then going back to a contender in the final minutes. Things got a bit hairy in the final moments, but the Mavericks got a stop and needed to pull it over the finish line. There are significant numbers from the win here.
5: Turnover for Mavericks
Dallas rolled the ball against only one season-less San Antonio, one season-less and matched its season-low from the previous season.
Luca Doncic was the only Maverick with at least two turnovers, while three other Mavericks had just one piece. This was a big reason why both the Mavericks were able to take a big lead and continue to lead in the second half. The Dallas offense dried up several times in the fourth quarter, but credit to the Mavericks for not getting the slack and airing the Spurs transition offense. If the Mavericks were more reckless with the ball, it is likely a loss for the Mavs.
90: Mavericks team free throw percentage
The Mavericks have struggled down the line all season, ranking in the bottom half of the league entering on Friday night. Seeing Dallas finish the night 18 to 20 against San Antonio was a great sign, especially in a close game.
This marks back-to-back quality free throw shooting games from the Mavericks, as they shot 82.4 percent against the Pacers on Wednesday. This is the first time the Mavericks have played more than 80 percent of back-to-back games on the charity strip.
Kudos to Wes Iwandu, especially, as he made the final two free throws and left the game with the Mavericks for three seconds. The Spurs had a time out and if Ayandu did not make at least one they could have a chance to tie and they completed both. It was good to see, especially when he missed a clutch three pointer a few minutes earlier.
56.4: Luca Doncic’s shooting percentage on mid-range jumpers
I’m stealing this from our staff Hank, who noted that Donsick is now third in the league in percentage on mid-range shots for all players along with Stephen Curry, who attempted more than 35 shots from that range is. Fairly good!
Donsick showed improvement in the mid-range game against the Spurs, mixing it with some cool step-backs and some smooth change bank shots. It was a turnaround bank shot in the final minute against LaMarcus Aldridge that helped seal the win.
We all know that three is more than two and mid-range shots are not necessary, but it’s great to see Doncic diversifying his score, so when the defense is down the clamp is not a single note. The turnaround shot against Aldridge was a scene for the sarcastic eyes when you ponder how possession might have ended for last season’s Mavericks (potentially bad step-back three). Doncik is fun learning a new trick.
50: Kristaps Porzingis’ percentage on post-up shots against Spurs
San Antonio played down the odds and dared Kristaps Porzingis to beat them in the post, placing a small one on Porzingis instead of placing them with Aldridge or Jacob Pottle. The Spurs were betting on Porsingis’ poor post from last season and Porzingis tortured him.
Porskingis shot 3-of-6 in the post against the Spurs, handling himself well with some good no-dribble turnroids and some smooth fallaways. Less dribbling is best for Poringis and he made his move to the post against the younger Spurs defender without a bunch of pointless movement. He was articulate and confident.
For the season, Porzingis is now shooting 10-of-20 at post-ups, far more than a season ago, though it is still too early. The key for Porzingis to use the post takes so long that it falls within the flow of the Mavericks offense, with Poringis not wasting any time against a smaller defender. He looked good against the Spurs, scoring 21 points on 14 shots.